With Graham out of the hospital it seems that we’re back at the same old case-of-the-week structure that dominated Season 1. However, there’s a lot more at play here. Instead of a weekly case, the Graham/Crawford team, and Hannibal out doing his business and “treating” Graham, we have Graham trying to lure Hannibal, the winter trout.
In case you missed the obvious metaphor (because you were in the bathroom as the show opened), while out ice fishing, Graham explained to Crawford that the trouts’ metabolism slows in the winter and isn’t as hungry, so you have to lure it with live bait, trick it into wanting something that it doesn’t want. Clearly, this is a continuation of Graham’s comparison of Hannibal as a fish, which we saw in “Yakimono” when Graham said: “Catch a fish once and it gets away, it’s a lot harder to catch a second time.”
Also, by Graham once again subjecting himself to Hannibal’s psychiatric care he’s clearly playing the part of live bait.
But all of that has been spelled out for the viewer. Less obvious is the episodic relationship between Peter Bernardorne and Clark Ingram and how they mirror the Season 1 relationship between Graham and Hannibal. However, unlike brain-damaged Peter leading the FBI to his serial-killer social worker Clark, Graham has to lure Hannibal out into the open. And instead of death bearing death and the poetic bird simulating life to lead the FBI to the crime scene, the entire relationship between Graham and Hannibal is poetic, if you consider one’s contempt and the other’s fascination poetic. That dynamic does lead to some interesting exchanges, no matter how you view it.
As a fairly transitional episode, “Su-Zakana” also introduced us to new characters: Margot Verger (played by the amazing Katharine Isabelle, American Mary) and Mason Verger. As a series, Hannibal has its differences from the source material, but if you remember Mason has some issues with Hannibal Lecter, and how these unravel will be interesting as hell, especially with a more dynamic Margot.
Perhaps this episode’s most poetic moment occurred when Hannibal said, “I can feed the caterpillar, I can whisper through the chrysalis, but when it hatches, it follows its own nature and that’s beyond me.”
Rock Hard \m/